“Fooling around with alternative current is just a waste of time. Nobody will ever use it.”

That is what Thomas Edison said in 1889 in response to the rise of the new electrical power delivery system that threatened the dominance of Edison’s own direct current model. To discourage the adoption of alternating current, Edison even went so far as to demonstrate that dogs and cattle, which could survive a shock from direct current, would be electrocuted when they came into contact with alternating current. But when it came to what mattered most to customers, the ability to deliver electricity over long distances and to use it to power motors and generators, alternating current won out and became the foundation of America’s power grid.